The Shining (1980) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Shining (1980)



Critic Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson

Movie Info

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" -- or, rather, a homicidal boy in Stanley Kubrick's eerie 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel. With wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and psychic son Danny (Danny Lloyd) in tow, frustrated writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a job as the winter caretaker at the opulently ominous, mountain-locked Overlook Hotel so that he can write in peace. Before the Overlook is vacated for the Torrances, the manager (Barry Nelson) informs Jack that a previous caretaker went crazy and slaughtered his family; Jack thinks it's no problem, but Danny's "shining" hints otherwise. Settling into their routine, Danny cruises through the empty corridors on his Big Wheel and plays in the topiary maze with Wendy, while Jack sets up shop in a cavernous lounge with strict orders not to be disturbed. Danny's alter ego, "Tony," however, starts warning of "redrum" as Danny is plagued by more blood-soaked visions of the past, and a blocked Jack starts visiting the hotel bar for a few visions of his own. Frightened by her husband's behavior and Danny's visit to the forbidding Room 237, Wendy soon discovers what Jack has really been doing in his study all day, and what the hotel has done to Jack. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovimore
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson, Stephen King
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 29, 1999
Warner Bros. Pictures


Jack Nicholson
as Jack Torrance
Shelley Duvall
as Wendy Torrance
Philip Stone
as Delbert Grady
Joe Turkel
as Lloyd the Bartender
Lia Beldam
as Young Woman in Batht...
Billie Gibson
as Old Woman in Bathtub
David Baxt
as Forest Ranger
Manning Redwood
as Forest Ranger
Lisa Burns
as Grady Girl
Louise Burns
as Grady Girl
Burnell Tucker
as Policeman
Jana Sheldon
as Stewardess
Kate Phelps
as Receptionist
Norman Gay
as Injured Guest
Joseph Turkel
as Lloyd the bartender
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Shining

Critic Reviews for The Shining

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (10)

Shock effect and graphic imagery don't compensate for the sense of pointlessness and even distaste that is left at the end of the movie.

Full Review… | May 22, 2016
New York Daily News
Top Critic

A masterpiece.

Full Review… | October 6, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

Kubrick has made a movie that will have to be reckoned with on the highest level.

Full Review… | October 21, 2010
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

As a ghost story and adaptation of the Stephen King novel, it's largely a failure. On the other hand, as an example of directorial bravura and as a study of madness and the unreliable narrator, it's a brilliant success.

Full Review… | April 30, 2009
Top Critic

If The Shining isn't trivial, it certainly encourages one to think that it is. But, perhaps, even that's a change for the better. Generally, it's the other way around.

Full Review… | February 17, 2016

One of the best scary movies ever made, one of the best scary movies even imaginable.

Full Review… | June 17, 2014
Antagony & Ecstasy

Audience Reviews for The Shining

Jack Nicholson's performance alone defines this frightening motion picture. Stanley Kubrick's The Shining may stray away from the Stephen King novel, but the film's disturbing tone and psychological barrage is memorable and, to this day, is held up as one of the most outstanding horror films ever made. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

Stanley Kubrick's brilliant adaptation of Stephen King's novel about a frustrated writer forced to take the job as caretaker at a remote hotel consumed with evil.
Outstanding performances by Jack Nicholson and the rest of a top notch cast add to the eerie premise created by
Kubrick's use of lighting,colors, foreshadowing, music, and attention to the slightest details. This film is by all means "A masterpiece of modern horror."

Eric S

Super Reviewer


A writer and his family move in as caretakers to a secluded mountainside hotel for the winter, but a presence inhabiting it causes his mental disintegration leading to the urge for bloody murder. I'm not a fan of Stephen King. In fact, I'd go as far as to describe him as "a bag of cock". But what Kubrick did was to strip away the hokey nonsense of King's original novel and create a master class in haunting imagery and suspense. In fact, the supernatural elements of the story are almost irrelevant. The horror lies in the subtext of domestic violence; it's difficult to see a plaid wearing, balding middle-aged man as a terrifying monster, and Nicholson is hardly the most physically formidable presence. But in the classic scene in which he finally snaps, it is easy to see why waif-like Shelly Duvall (or anyone like her) would be incredibly intimidated. Without resorting to unnecessary gore Kubrick's visuals are disturbingly intense and complimented by one of the eeriest soundtracks ever written, the sense of unease is as creepy and atmospheric as any created. Far from being dated, compared to what passes for "horror" these days The Shining has actually improved with age. Another example of Kubrick being Jack of all trades and master of all.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

The Shining Quotes

Jack Torrance: Wendy, I'm home.
– Submitted by Lucas B (55 days ago)
Jack Torrance: Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I'm not gonna hurt ya. You didn't let me finish my sentence. I said, I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your brains in.
– Submitted by Matthew B (11 months ago)
Jack Torrance: Darling, I'm not gonna hurt you. I'm just gonna bash your brains in.
– Submitted by Miles F (23 months ago)
Jack Torrance: Am not going to hurt you i just want to smash your brains in.
– Submitted by Matthew B (2 years ago)

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